Three Greater Victoria schools get provincial playground funds

The Provincial Government has announced 51 schools will have their playgrounds replaced over summer, including 3 in the Capital Regional District.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement at Quadra Elementary School saying a new playground fund will provide up to $5 million each year to school districts to buy new or replacement playground equipment, taking fundraising pressure off of parents.

This year 26 schools will receive $90-thousand for a standard playground, and 25 schools will receive $105-thousand for universally accessible playgrounds.

In this region Victoria's Quadra Elementary, Sooke's Poirier Elementary will get funds for accessible playgrounds, and Gulf Islands Saturna Island Elementary will receive funds for a standard playground.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says it takes a lot of bake sales and bottle drives for parent groups to earn the tens-of-thousands of dollars needed to replace playground equipment, and schools without that fundraising capability are often left without playgrounds.

Jen Mezei, president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils says parents have advocated for this for over a decade, arguing safe, accessible playgrounds should not be dependent on a school community's ability to raise funds.

Playgrounds are being funded based on greatest need with priority given to those schools where there is currently no playground. 

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